'3 Cdo Bde leave Far East 1971'

3 Commando Brigade RM leave the Far East
The following signal was received on April 2, 1971
"For Brigade Commander and all ranks from Commander Far East Land Forces. Your Brigade has been overseas for the past twenty-eight years. Much of this time has been on active service. After your fine Parade on March 18, and before the Main Body begins the homeward journey, I would like to express my appreciation of the splendid way in which you have carried out the many and varied tasks allotted to you during the last eleven years under Far East Land Forces. Your distinguished record is one of which all can be proud. I wish all ranks and their families God speed, happy landings and good fortune wherever the future may lead".
 
Timeline
3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines, was originally formed as 3rd Special Service Brigade on 31 August 1943 at Dorchester.
After moving to Canterbury about half of the Brigade troops moved for their Commando training to Achnacarry. It was fully mobilised by November 6, 1943 under the command of Brigadier W. I. Nonweiler [more....].
The Brigade, at the time of formation, consisted of No.1 (Army) Commando and No.5 (Army) Commando (both formed in 1940),  and 42 Royal Marine Commando and 44 Royal Marine Commando, Royal Marines (both formed in August 1943).
  • November 1943 the Brigade sailed for the Far East where it saw action in Burma.
  • November 1944 Colonel Peter Young [more....], who had arrived to take up the post of Brigade second in command, temporarily became Brigade Commander on the departure of Brigadier Nonweiler.
  • December 1944 Brigadier C.R. Hardy [more....] arrives and assumes command of the Brigade.
  • 31st January 1945 Nos 1 and 5 (Army) Commandos and 42RM Commando take part in the Battle for Hill 170 at Kangaw.
  • Lieutenant George Knowland No. 1 (Army) Commando is posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross [more....].
  • 1945 the Brigade took part in the reoccupation of Hong Kong.
  • Commencing in March 1946 the Army Commandos of the Brigade were disbanded .
  • 44RM Commando was redesignated 44 Commando RM , then further redesignated 40 Commando RM on the 15th March 1947. [ref. RMRO 141 of 1947.]
  • The Brigade, now designated as 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, was reformed with 40, 42 and 45 Commandos RM.
  • 1947 the Brigade moved to Malta where they remained till July 1949, during which time they carried out Internal Security duties in Palestine, Tripoli, Benghazi, the Canal Zone, Cyprus and Akaba.
  • August 1949 they returned to Hong Kong when the Chinese Communists threatened the colony.
  • May 1950, the Brigade were sent to Malaya where they fought the terrorists until May 1952 before returning to Malta as the Middle East strategic reserve.
During the next nine years they were involved in internal security duties in the Canal Zone, anti-terrorist operations in Cyprus and led the Suez landings.
  • 45 Commando were detached to Aden in 1960 until the withdrawal in 1967;
  • 42 Commando, who had been in UK  since 1954 except for the Port Said and Lebanon crises, left for Singapore in 1960 where they were rejoined by HQ, 3rd Commando Brigade (1961) and 40 Commando (1962).
  • Subsequently the Brigade saw active service in Kuwait, Borneo and Southern Malaysia, whilst 45 Commando were involved in the Radfan, Tanganyika and the withdrawal from Aden.
HQ 3 Commando Brigade returned in 1971 to occupy the Royal Marines Barracks, Stonehouse.
 
Sources
Navy Lists August 1943 (see documents below).
Globe and Laurel June 1971 edition.
The Third Jungle Book issue 9.
 

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